- Brandon Graham was named Michigan’s MVP for this past season. The award was voted on by Michigan players. Will Johnson, Mike Massey, Tim Jamison, Obi Ezeh, and Stephen Schilling also won awards.
- Steve Kampfer is making great progress, and suddenly it doesn’t seem so unlikely that he will return to the ice in a game later this season. That is remarkable considering he injured his skull and neck in an off-ice incident in October.
- Matt Rust and Aaron Palushaj will play for Team USA in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The event takes place from late December to early January and conflicts with the Great Lakes Invitational, meaning neither will play for Michigan during the GLI.
- A couple of Maize Rage members organized a camp out for the Duke game. Even though tip off isn’t until 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, some people are planning on braving the cold by camping out tonight in order to get the best seats in Crisler for the game.
- Although MGoBlue is claiming that the Duke game is a sellout, some tickets are still available for students. According to an e-mail sent by the athletic department, the first 100 students who go to the women’s basketball game against North Carolina State tonight (starts at 6:30 p.m.), sit in the section 9 bleachers, and stay for the entire game will receive free tickets to the Duke game on Saturday.
- The athletic department recently launched a photo store.
- 66 Michigan athletes were named to the fall Big Ten all-academic team.
- Donovan Tate, a football and baseball recruit, committed to North Carolina earlier this week. Tate is a very talented baseball player who may be a top 10 pick in next year’s MLB draft. It isn’t a guarantee that he will even go to college, but if he does UNC will be getting a great player in two sports. Tate had shown some interest in Michigan before committing to UNC.
- Taylor Hill, who left the football team at the start of this past season, is going to transfer to Kent State or Youngstown State. He will go to Kent State if he is allowed to play starting next year. If the NCAA doesn’t grant him eligibility for 2009, he will probably go to Youngstown State, which is a I-AA school. If he transfers to YSU, he could play immediately.
- The Week 14 BlogPoll is out.
- Notre Dame’s athletic director confirmed that Charlie Weis will return next season.
- Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville resigned on Wednesday. Even though Auburn’s athletic director claims otherwise, it sure seems like he was forced out. Auburn went 5-7 this past season and was beat by Alabama for the first time since 2001.
- Toledo hired Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman to be the team’s new head coach.
Aside from Tate Forcier opting to go to Michigan last Sunday, this has been a pretty bad week for the Wolverines. Michigan opened the season with a loss to Utah, Taylor Hill transferred, Marcus Witherspoon officially didn’t qualify, and for the worst news of all, William Campbell has decommitted from Michigan.
Campbell is one of the nation’s top players and is by far the best prospect in the state of Michigan this year. He is a dominating defensive tackle from Cass Tech High School that committed to U-M in June of last year. Although he has said that he will take his five official visits, nobody really thought anything of it as he claimed he just wanted to travel. Well, it turns out that’s not the case now as he has decommitted.
I don’t have the details of why he changed his mind, but we likely will find them out shortly. This is worse news than losing Kevin Newsome and much worse than losing a couple linebackers as Campbell is seen as someone that can make an immediate impact. That is how dominating of a player he is. Losing him really hurts, especially since he had been committed for over a year.
- Going into tomorrow’s game, I expect the offense to play much better than they did against Utah. At the same time, I expect the defense to come out and be dominant from the very start of the game rather than only the second half. The offense still likely won’t look pretty at times, but I do think the coaches will have a better idea of what type of game plan they will run. Instead of focusing on the passing game, I think and hope we’ll see more of a mindset that features the running game. It may take time to get going, but establishing the run will be important.
- Miami will come ready to play and I think they’ll make it close. I don’t necessarily believe that this will come down to the final minutes of the game, but if Michigan won by more than a couple touchdowns I would be pretty surprised.
- The fallout from Marcus Witherspoon not qualifying has resulted in a decision that he will never attend Michigan and instead will likely end up at Tennessee or Rutgers. Also, Michigan once again is coming out of a situation looking like the bad guys even though this had to do with the NCAA rather than U-M.
Looks like Spoon might have got a raw deal. He didn’t find out about his ineligibilty (sic) until July 28 – although it’s not uncommon for the NCAA Clearinghouse to take until mid-August sometimes to determine if a student-athlete can compete.The way Spoon’s father talks, it looks like Michigan dropped the ball and something could have been done a lot sooner.
Bottom line – The Holy Spirit graduate and 2007 C-P Defensive Player of the Year will not wear the maze and blue of Michigan ever. The family is going to make sure he gets cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse – which it sounds like he will be very soon, according to his dad – and he will enroll somewhere else.
So it’s Michigan’s fault that the NCAA ruled he wasn’t eligible? I know Witherspoon’s dad is likely upset and is just trying to defend his son, but Witherspoon reportedly had a chance to become eligible when he went home earlier in the summer and wasn’t able to do so. I don’t know if this is a Nick Perry type of situation where he needed a specific credit to become eligible or if he just simply had failed a class needed to go to Michigan, but this is hardly Michigan’s fault.
- Taylor Hill transferred because he wanted to be closer to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. Youngstown is around 3 hours and 40 minutes away from Ann Arbor, but is only 1 hour and 14 minutes away from Pittsburgh. Early speculation is that he will end up going to Pittsburgh, which would make sense distance-wise.
Michigan is in the running to land one of the nation’s top defensive end recruits.
- MGoBlog debuts UFR for the 2008 season.
- Genuinely Sarcastic analyzes Michigan’s run game against Utah.
- MVictors has audio of Larry Lage’s recent interviews on WTKA and WDFN. Lage is the AP reporter that went behind the scenes of Michigan football in the week leading up to the Utah game and he shared his thoughts on the experience during the interviews.
- Michigan’s women’s basketball schedule has been released.
- Three Penn State players have been suspended for their game against Oregon State tomorrow after they were caught with marijuana earlier this week.
- Beanie Wells won’t play against Ohio tomorrow. This is the smart move as there is absolutely no point to rush him back from an injury. Not only is he Ohio State’s star player, but they’ve got a game against USC in a week and will need Wells, so every day of rest is important.
One Michigan freshman linebacker has already decided to transfer (Taylor Hill), and another won’t even be coming to Michigan at all. Marcus Witherspoon, a freshman LB out of New Jersey, failed to qualify academically and isn’t coming to Michigan.
Witherspoon left Ann Arbor earlier in the summer to go back to New Jersey to get qualified, and claimed last week that he had done so and would be returning to Ann Arbor shortly. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, meaning Michigan’s 2008 recruiting class is down two players, both of whom are linebackers.
Via MGoBlog, Sam Webb said on WTKA this morning that freshman running back Mike Cox is not going to transfer. It sounds like he was on the verge of leaving, but made the decision to stay with the team.
The same can’t be said for Taylor Hill, though, as Webb also said that the freshman linebacker is gone. As reported earlier today, Hill apparently has already left Ann Arbor. I’m sure we’ll hear more information on the reason he left in the coming days. Like I said before, it doesn’t make sense, so hopefully we do find out why he opted to leave Michigan.
Michigan appears to have lost one player already and another is rumored to be in the process of leaving. Freshman linebacker Taylor Hill apparently has decided to transfer and already has left Ann Arbor. News of his transfer comes via his Facebook page, where another Michigan football player posted something on his “wall” about how he didn’t even know Hill left until someone else told him. Also, the message included a question about where Hill is going to college now, indicating that he is in fact transferring.
Another player that may be leaving is freshman running back Mike Cox. MGoBlog reported that Cox is preparing to transfer in the near future, and it would make sense. Cox was recruited by Lloyd Carr and committed when Carr was still the head coach. Despite not being a great fit for the spread offense, he decided to stick around. The assumption was that he would redshirt this season and hope to somehow move up the depth chart during the remainder of his career. With both Sam McGuffie and Michael Shaw in front of him already, you can understand why a transfer would make sense.
As far as Hill goes, I have no idea why he is gone. Hill was a Rich Rodriguez recruit and was seen as someone that could possibly become a starter down the road in his career. He also probably would have redshirted this season, giving him 4 years to work his way into a starting position.
I will say that it isn’t confirmed that either of these players is in fact transferring. However, judging by the comments of a teammate on Hill’s Facebook page, it seems he already is gone. There are no signs right now that Cox has decided to transfer or stay, so I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to find out more regarding his status.
UPDATE: Mike Cox isn’t going to transfer and Taylor Hill is already gone.
Last month I posted a partial list of what numbers Michigan’s freshmen would be wearing, and now the full list is out. Although not all numbers have been confirmed just yet, a full list has been making its way around the Internet recently and appears to be accurate. Take a look:
|56||Ricky Barnum (OG)|
|33||Boubacar Cissoko (CB)|
|15||Mike Cox (RB)|
|25||Kenny Demens (LB)|
|5||Justin Feagin (QB)|
|42||J.B. Fitzgerald (LB)|
|12||J.T. Floyd (DB)|
|36||Taylor Hill (LB)|
|63||Rocko Khoury (OT)|
|86||Kevin Koger (TE)|
|68||Mike Martin (DT)|
|2||Sam McGuffie (RB)|
|57||Elliott Mealer (OT)|
|88||Brandon Moore (TE)|
|9||Martavious Odoms (WR)|
|65||Patrick Omameh (OT)|
|78||Dann O’Neill (OT)|
|7||Terrence Robinson (WR)|
|16||Roy Roundtree (WR)|
|20||Michael Shaw (ATH)|
|28||Brandon Smith (S)|
|22||Darryl Stonum (WR)|
|64||Kurt Wermers (OG)|
|4||Marcus Witherspoon (LB)|
I’m guessing Marell Evans
Brandon Herron has changed his number since Boubacar Cissoko is #33. There was some talk that Boo Boo would get #2 along with Sam McGuffie, but obviously that’s not the case.
For those wondering which freshmen for Michigan made it into the game, here is a list I compiled:
QB #2 – Justin Feagin
HB #28 – Michael Shaw
HB #34 – Sam McGuffie (why they left out Avery Horn is beyond me)
HB #20 – Mike Cox
HB #27 – Terrence Robinson (he is supposed to be a receiver)
WR #22 – Darryl Stonum
WR #87 – Roy Roundtree
TE #86 – Kevin Koger
LT #74 – ?
C #56 – Ricky Barnum
RG #77 – ?
RG #72 – ?
RT #73 – ?
DT #68 – Mike Martin
LOLB #58 – Kenny Demens
LOLB #57 – J.B. Fitzgerald
ROLB #59 – Taylor Hill
ROLB #44 – Marcus Witherspoon
CB #2 – Boubacar Cissoko
SS #18 – Brandon Smith
For the offensive linemen with a question mark, I wasn’t able to figure out who the player is as EA put in the wrong home states for them. Basically you can pencil in Dann O’Neill, Elliott Mealer, Rocko Khoury, Patrick Omameh, and Kurt Wermers for those 4 missing spots. It doesn’t really matter since the 4 unknowns in the game can be edited into whoever you want.
EA managed to get 20 Michigan freshmen in the game. Martavious Odoms, Brandon Moore, one of the linemen mentioned above, and J.T. Floyd didn’t make the cut.
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